picture of Sumana's head

Sumana Harihareswara's Web Presence

Sumana's journal

About me

I contribute to and lead open source software communities.

More generally, I'm a programmer, technology executive and open source expert who teaches both technical and process skills (my outdated resume). I'm on LinkedIn.

I often give public talks, including keynote addresses at conferences.

Alert: Sumana is not a registered protocol. I live in New York, New York in the United States of America. I earned a bachelor's degree in political science at the University of California at Berkeley and a master's in technology management at Columbia University, and participated in the Fall 2013 batch of Hacker School. I have worked at Salon.com, Fog Creek Software, Behavior, Collabora, the GNOME Foundation, and the Wikimedia Foundation.

I've kept an online diary, Cogito, Ergo Sumana, since late 2000, and an identi.ca microblog and Twitter feed since mid-2009. I also co-maintain Spam As Folk Art, a weblog chronicling the more bizarre and evocative phrases in junk email.

Two web diarists inspired my own journal: my inspiringly philosophical friend Seth Schoen (diary) and my astonishingly clever husband, Leonard Richardson. For other interesting weblogs and net resources, consult my list o' links and del.icio.us linkblog.

You can email me at sumanah@panix.com.

Miscellaneous works

My articles for GNOME Journal include an overview of the Telepathy real-time communications framework and a case study of commercial open source sponsorship, specifically Canonical's investment in GNOME bug-tracking infrastructure.

In 2009 I edited Thoughtcrime Experiments, an anthology of new, previously unpublished science fiction. It's available online and in a print-on-demand edition under a Creative Commons license.

If you're interested in open source software or other intellectual property issues in technology, you may find these notes useful: Intellectual property crash course: Patents, copyrights, trade secrets, and trademarks | Legal Summit for Software Freedom 2007 (summaries of speeches by the Software Freedom Law Center)

Between April 2005 and August 2007, I wrote a weekly column called "MC Masala" for several papers in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I wrote a few Salon articles on Star Trek, an Indian call center, and TV cooking shows. Minor works included a poem about my pinky finger, a review of an organic food delivery service, an interview with the makers of "Uncle Morty's Dub Shack", and criticisms of "Star Wars" and "Friends".

Are you hoping to compare consumer products concerning menstruation? I wrote that guide to provide simple explanations of the pros and cons of pads, tampons, cups, and similar women's products.

I was the instructor for "Politics in Modern Science Fiction", a course that I conceived, developed, and taught at UC Berkeley in the spring of 2001. [Syllabus] [Essay prompts/suggestions]

Leonard and Sumana at a filming of 'Uncle Morty's Dub Shack' My stand-up comedy earned me a funny interview with Robert Berdahl on "Bear in Mind" (transcript, RealAudio recording) and a reference on InPassing. I also wrote "If Shakespeare Wrote Error Messages", a Segfault parody piece that you might have received as an email forward.

I made a music video for Leonard Richardson's song "The Whiskey Rebellion Activity Zone".

"Brrrasaurus!" is my small, silly interactive fiction game in Inform 7. You can download and play "Brrrasaurus!" if you have a Z5 interpreter, such as Frotz.

Interests and background

My parents hail from Karnataka, a state in southern India, where the native language is Kannada and the people are Kannadigas. For several years they edited and published the Kannada/English magazine Amerikannada, many issues of which now reside in the collections of the University of California at Berkeley. I was Youth Editor for the 2001 Kannada Koota Magazine (my editor's note).

I was born in New Jersey, and moved through Pennsylvania, Missouri, and northern California before coming to New York. If you think you went to school with me, you probably did. Leonard Richardson and I got married in April of 2006.

I'm interested in books, careers, good teaching, political science, tax history, stand-up comedy and other sorts, Dance Dance Revolution, faith, Russian, Russia, India, good cinema, innovation, the cultural/political aspects of technology, project management, and so on.

If you are interested in giving me some sort of gift, you could give money to the Electronic Frontier Foundation or American Civil Liberties Union, or consult my wantlist.

Sumana performing stand-up comedy at A Cuppa 
Tea